USU unveils Environmental Observatory

Utah State University’s solar-powered Environmental Observatory is the first of its kind on a university campus and will provide a model for self-powered observatories in remote locations throughout the world. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be done to mark the official opening on Earth Day, Friday, April 22 at 1 p.m. in front of the E.G. Peterson Agricultural Building at USU. The public is invited to attend. Designed and built by students and faculty in USU’s Department of Plants, Soils and Climate, the 13-foot-tall observatory already has admirers. Bruce Bugbee, the faculty member who coordinated the project, says a state-of-the art atmosphere visibility sensor measures the clarity of the air in Cache Valley, a unique feature of interest to local residents because of the valley’s frequent inversions in the winter.

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